Sunday, February 11, 2007

Friday 9th February

Puerto del Rey
Puerto Rico

18 17.4 N
65 37.7 W


I forgot to mention in my narrative yesterday that this is the marina in the sailor’s instructional movie, Captain Ron, where he pulls into the dock and just misses everything. Thought you’d like to know that Captain Ron students!
Today began with a couple of boat jobs, Gerry removed the dink from the foredeck in preparation for taking the boat to the service slip – more of that in a minute. Then he scrubbed the deck with concrete cleaner to remove some of the stubborn marks. Dale and Lorie arrived with our new anchor which they had collected from West marine for us so the next job was attaching the new anchor to the swivel and chain. The new Delta anchor is a fraction larger than the one we lost, this one weighs 55lbs against the 44lbs of the old one, so it should hold us firmly in place when we deploy it! Once we had fixed the anchor in place it was time to move the boat round to the service slip, this was an easy task with 4 of us to handle the lines and steering. Once in the service slip the travel lift was maneuvered into position and the boat slings passed under the keel. Then it was time for the 4 of us to get off the boat so that it could be hauled out of the water. As all you boat owners know watching your boat being lifted out of the water is a gut wrenching moment, our boat weighs about 18 tons and this is suspended mid air between 2 slings, as the slings are shortened up the boat is lifted clear of the water. The travel lift then moves backwards until the boat is suspended over dry land where the keel of the boat can be worked on. There were 5 haul out staff to help us get the boat out of the water, they did a careful job – well a lot is at stake especially if it goes wrong. The purpose of taking our boat out of the water was to replace the cutlass bearing on the prop shaft, the guys doing the work had the old bearing, what was left of it, off and the new bearing in place within an hour. Whilst the bearing was being replaced Gerry and Dale scrapped the barnacles off the hull that had survived Gerry’s cleaning at Caja de Muertos. Once the work was finished it was time to return the boat to the water and test the propeller to make sure there was not going to be any issues with the new bearing. All the haul out staff had vanished by this time and it was left to the 4 of us, plus one woman who operated the travel lift, to put the boat back in the water, obviously they weren’t so concerned about the boat going back into the water. The prop shaft turned OK so we threw the lines on board and then jumped on board ourselves, motoring back to our slip with a short stop to fill up with fuel on the way. Going back into our slip with Gerry at the helm we almost sank our dinghy, which was tied up in the slip, by running over it – good job the captain was at the helm at the time! Luckily with a lot of shouting and a quick reverse the dinghy popped up from around the bow and floated off to the side. We tied back up to the slip and then it was time to have a drink and some snacks in the cockpit. We whiled the afternoon away by doing email, checking Google earth and then Lorie and I vacuum bagged toilet rolls, coffee and meat that we had bought yesterday whilst the men did who knows what. In the evening we went to the marina restaurant for a very nice meal. Eventually it was time for Dale and Lorie to head back to the base and their own boat for the night.



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